Displaying items by tag: immigration

Immigration officers not 'contractuals,' contrary to Diokno's claim

MANILA – Several immigration officers have been skipping work due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s veto of their overtime pay, and that has caused long lines at Manila's airports.
The response of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Monday, April 3: these immigration workers could be easily replaced since they hold “contractual” positions.
"Ang nature ng job nila ay job orders. 'Yung pagmamatigas nila, they can be replaced anytime 'pag hindi ka nag-report for work when you're supposed to work. Job orders sila eh saka contractual positions, hindi regular plantilla positions 'yan," Diokno said in an interview on GMA 7’s Balitanghali.
(The nature of their work is job orders. If they continue to insist they can be replaced anytime. If they don't report for work, they can be replaced anytime. They're job orders, contractual positions.)
They are part of plantilla
Diokno’s statement is wrong, as immigration officers are part of the plantilla of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
"Yes immigration officers are holders of regular plantilla positions. Job Orders cannot perform immigration officer functions," said Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson.
Ironically, it is the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that approves the creation of plantilla positions in government.
The agency even recently approved the opening of 887 new plantilla positions, which will form the newly-created Port Operations Division of the BI.
While there are contractuals in the agency, these are mostly in the main offices and are serving administrative tasks. Immigration officers, meanwhile, are those monitoring and securing the departure and arrival of citizens and foreigners in Philippine airports, among others.
Rappler got hold of the appointment papers of two Immigration Officers I. Both documents indicate they were hired for the “permanent” position with a salary grade 11.
Asked about the inconsistency, Diokno now said immigration officers are indeed "permanent" workers, contrary to his earlier remarks. He then added there are other types of employees in the agency.
"No. What you met are permanent workers. But that's not the totality of workers. In addition, there are job orders and contract of service (COS). The latter two types do not involve employer-employee relationship," Diokno said in a text message to Rappler.
But in the earlier TV interview, Diokno was clearly referring to airport immigration officers as "contractual" employees.
Misleading salary information
The DBM also posted inaccurate information on the salary of immigration officers. In a press statement on Tuesday, April 4, the agency said these personnel earn P28,931 monthly without overtime.
Immigration officers called this a "lie to mislead the public," saying they only receive a gross monthly salary, including allowances, of P21,286 with their salary grade. Minus taxes and deductions, they take home at least P16,484.
Aside from the non-payment of overtime fees of immigration officers, Duterte's veto has also affected hundreds of contractual employees in the agency.
Since January, the contractual staff have not been receiving their monthly salary despite going to work regularly, after Duterte scrapped the source of funds in the 2017 national budget.– Rappler.com


‘Kodakan’ (Promoting Filipino Heritage in America)  

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said these words in 1943: "We have faith that future generations will know here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.” Fast forward to the year 2017 and what President Roosevelt said 74 years ago is still relevant.
We again witness ignorance and intolerance manifested by rising anti-immigrant sentiments and attacks in the U.S. The rise of bashing incidents, violence, and hate crimes against immigrants and people of color have been fanned by conservative and nativist rhetoric that depicts immigrants as a “baggage to American society” rather than the realistic picture of hard working people who contribute their talents and labor to make America a better country.
The Filipino community in America is not immune to the anti-immigrant trend.
The fact that Filipinos have settled in North America long before Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states, and even before the Philippines was granted independence by the United States, does not exempt our community from the immigrant bashing that is happening around. We need to continue educating mainstream America about who we are and the contributions that we have made as a people in American society.
Education is an important component but reality check tells us that there is not much written about our history and culture as a people in the U.S. Even in cities and places where there are many Filipinos, historical materials and studies about Filipinos are not always available and accessible in libraries, resource centers, schools and institutions of higher learning.
There are many immigrant stories that need to be told, many photos and multi-media materials that need to be gathered, stored, and shared so we can tell our own story about our community. There should be no more waiting. With the immigrant bashing going on around, the time to do this is now.
With the advancement of information and communication technology and the extensive use of internet and social media in our daily lives, we can now expect that our own narratives and Filipino heritage can be easily and properly documented. It is also much easier now to store information for future generations.
There are many activities and developments in connection with this undertaking to promote and preserve Filipino heritage in the U.S. particularly in San Francisco.
First was the recognition and adoption of the city’s South of Market area as the Filipino Cultural Heritage District (SoMa Pilipinas) on April 12, 2016. Last year, a number of our community members also shared their stories through the StoryCorps and the Center of Asian American Media.
This year the Filipino community in partnership and cooperation with the San Francisco Public Library came up with the project “Kodakan Photo Day: Shades of San Francisco: A Search for Visual Filipino History of San Francisco.”
“Shades of San Francisco” is embracing the mission to collect and copy photographs from the family albums and private collections of current and former San Francisco residents. These photos will then be exhibited and added to the San Francisco History Center’s photo archives to create a permanent record of the daily lives of San Franciscans as well as the historical, political, and cultural contributions of the many neighborhoods and ethnic communities that make up the City and County of San Francisco.
Shades of San Francisco (Kodakan) will take place for the Filipino community on May 13, 2017 from 10am to 4pm at the San Francisco Main Public Library (100 Larkin Street in San Francisco).
We should support this noble cause. On photo day, please bring copies of your photos from your photo albums, loose photographs, and digital photos, including old materials and literatures about Filipinos and the Filipino community in San Francisco so the library will have more archival collections about us and our contributions as a people to the San Francisco community as a whole.
Let us continue to promote and preserve Filipino social and cultural heritage in America.

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336.


Asian Americans Advancing Justice applauds Federal court order blocking revised travel ban

  • Published in U.S.

Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director at Advancing Justice-LA. (credit: Keyang Pang)

San Francisco - A Federal court in Hawaii blocked a second attempt by President Trump to ban Muslims from entering the country.

"We applaud the court for recognizing the blatant discriminatory intent behind the executive order," said Elica Vafaie, Staff Attorney and Program Manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. "If this is implemented, it will have devastating consequences for our communities."

"Muslim Ban 2.0" is merely one of the administration's attempts to strip away basic civil rights and target Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian immigrants and other immigrant communities.

"We refuse to return to the era of Japanese Internment where the government led the way in profiling people because of their national origin," said Laboni Hoq, Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA.

Since the first Muslim Ban was released, the Advancing Justice affiliation has:
1. Helped hundreds of travelers understand their rights through our "Know Your Rights" materials and presentations;
2. Provided legal support at airports across the country with our partners to ensure compliance with court orders and represented individuals at the airport; and
3. Created model policies, starting in San Francisco, to prevent the federal government from attacking Muslim communities in other ways, such as a Muslim registry.
With such threats at hand, Asian Americans Advancing Justice is committed to protecting our communities.

"Even with the Muslim Ban halted, our communities continue to be targets of hate. We are asking people to report hate crimes at standagainsthatred.org," said Megan Essaheb, Assistant Director of Immigration and Immigrant Rights at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC

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